Reed signs marijuana ordinance into law

[private]Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed put his signature late Tuesday on a new city ordinance that downgrades the penalties for possessing less than one ounce of marijuana.

Under the new ordinance, that offense will now bring a $75 fine and no jail time, thus putting Atlanta in the same category as Clarkston. The ordinance does not legalize or decriminalize possession of marijuana.

“I am pleased to sign this ordinance, which eliminates jail time as a penalty for a conviction for possession of less than an ounce, into law,” Reed said.

“People of color, young and low-income people are disproportionately jailed – with sentences up to six months – for possessing small amounts of marijuana,” Reed said. “An average of 1,000 people are arrested each year in Atlanta for possession only. We needed to change that. I believe our public safety resources are better directed to stopping and preventing violent crime.”

Ironically, Reed signed the ordinance just a few weeks after the death of James Bell, who as the head of Georgia CARE had been one of the state’s leading advocates of legalizing marijuana.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Kasim Reed , marijuana law